MUSC Health + Helix launch statewide In Our DNA genetic testing project

MUSC Health is teaming up with Helix to launch this first-of-its-kind community genetic testing program | Photo provided

100,000. That’s how many South Carolinians MUSC Health and Helix, a leading population genomic company, are looking to enroll over the next four years in the new community genetic testing research project In Our DNA SC. 🧬

The large-scale, first-of-its-kind program will use the data collected to deliver information back to participants about their genetic risks for certain conditions in addition to developing secure and privacy-protected genetic + research databases.

Over time, the database will help researchers learn what may cause certain diseases, how to treat them more effectively, and help improve the standard of health care for all.

How it works: 

To participate in the program, those 18+ years old can review and sign a research consent form to enroll, provide a saliva sample at their next MUSC appointment, and wait to receive results at no cost. 

With the results, participants + their healthcare providers will receive confidential health information that identifies genetic risks for conditions such as: 

  • High cholesterol + heart disease
  • Hereditary breast and ovarian cancers
  • Colon cancer 

Plus, if you opt to sign up for a Helix account, you also receive a genetic ancestry report showing where your ancestors likely lived + a traits report detailing how your genes may influence certain traits (such as your caffeine metabolism)

Why it matters: 

Explaining the program in a recent episode of Advance with MUSC Health, Dr. Daniel Judge said, “We’re doing this to be proactive about health — the idea that knowledge is power. You can use these results to prevent the problem that’s being investigated.”

Think: The more researchers understand about how DNA impacts health and diseases, the more they can improve healthcare for you, your family, and your community for generations to come.*